Jul 30, 2015

But how do we stop arguing when it feels so natural to us?




One of my readers recently asked if there is anything he could do to prevent the conversations with his wife from always evolving into arguments. If both partners are passionate about their opinions, and determined to prove they are right, finding a solution through debating to a point of agreement might be a bigger challenge than the couple anticipated. What then? What, if anything, should be done if marital discussions about the important issues always end in arguments with no solution being found?

Let us first consider whether marital arguments are something that should be avoided. Many couples insist that they thrive on arguing: heated debate generates passion in the relationship. But is this really the best way for the couple to live? Arguments develop when one or both individuals involved lose their focus and the ability to communicate without emotion clouding their judgment. Arguments commonly include criticism that makes the listener defensive, and likely to retaliate with more criticism or hostility. As arguments progress, those involved try harder to make themselves heard. They become frustrated and angry when they see they are failing to convince the other person. As emotions escalate, those involved in the argument become less capable of communicating effectively: negative emotions cripple the ability to listen and speak.

If the couple is serious about finding solutions to their problems, then arguing is the wrong direction to take. During an argument, the conversation aims at one person’s opinion dominating, instead of blending the couple’s wisdom and finding what is best for the marriage. The criticism component of a typical argument is destructive - people say hurtful things that leave the kind of damage that taints a relationship long after the heat of the battle has past. An argument is not the most effective way for a couple to resolve issues - it may allow one or both partners to vent and relieve some tension, but there will usually be a price to pay for this emotional indulgence. If you want more than just a little tension relief from your passionate discussions, banish the arguments from your home.

But how do we stop arguing when it feels so natural for us?




In non-traditional marriages, it falls on the more emotionally mature partner to take the lead. In a traditional marriage the husband, as head of his home and leader in his marriage, bears the responsibility to pull the plug before a conversation degrades to where it is damaging to the marriage. (The wife can also help prevent an argument - after all, it takes two to tangle - but she lacks the authority her husband has at times like this.) When the husband recognizes that emotion is causing the conversation to deviate from the goal of finding a solution that is best for the marriage, he needs to call a halt to the conversation. It is essential to not assign blame at this time. The husband will achieve nothing positive by saying things like “you are too emotional to discuss this so we will continue later,” or “you are confusing the issue so I refuse to discuss this further”. As leader, he needs to help them both refocus, and that is best achieved with a neutral argument-terminator like “we will put this discussion on ice for 30 minutes”. The words the husband uses to shut down the argument will play a big role in how quickly peace returns to the home.
  






Thirty minutes is usually the minimum time needed for both partners to calm down, and gather their thoughts so they can return to the discussion with clear heads. Sometimes a longer break is better, but the matter should not be left unresolved for an indefinite period. Set a time limit for the cool-off period. Take enough time to think about the ideas you want to share that will benefit the marriage - steer clear of ideas and solutions that don’t enrich the marriage. Committing your ideas to paper before returning to the discussion is a good way to keep the discussion focused on the goal.  

But what if the wife disregards her husband’s decision to draw a close to the argument? What if she forges ahead and continues to try to make her point after he has called for a cool-off period? In this case, the husband should respond as he would to any other act of disrespect from his wife. By insisting on fueling the argument after her husband has called a time-out on the discussion, she is blatantly stating that she does not respect his leadership decision, and has chosen to disobey him. If he usually punishes his wife for this kind of behavior, the husband should do so in this case. A spanking may light a fire in his argumentative wife’s bottom, but it will go a long way to putting out the wild fire of an unnecessary and destructive argument. And when the fire in the wife’s spanked rear has died down, the couple can spend some time apart gathering their thoughts before sitting down to try to solve the problem together.

Jul 10, 2015

Sexual Compatability


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 It can be put this way. The door to a harmonious marriage has a lock on it. For that door to be opened the lock and its key must be compatible. Two locks will not open the door, just as two keys will also fail. The lock and the key are completely different however when they come together the door to a harmonious marriage is open.


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Jun 28, 2015

Ten's Box




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   "And I promise, I'll take care of everything myself. You'll never even know the cat's around. There won't be that much expense after the initial shots and everything. Please??? I really want a cat!" Marcie pleaded with Jacob very rarely, but she was pleading now. She had her heart set on getting a cat, and soon. Today, if possible. But what would Jacob say? He did not like pets and was much more particular about the housekeeping than she was. He was bound to object that she did not take care of things they already had, and did not need more little jobs to do.
But instead of his usual complaints or stony silence, today he looked at her with appraisal in his eyes. She had no idea what was going through his head, but was listening attentively to his every word. "So you really think you can take care of it? I mean it, now. No mess, no smell, you'll clean up after the thing and totally leave me out of it?"
Marcie could barely believe her ears. Was he actually thinking about agreeing? "Yes, yes, I understand. It would be my cat and my responsibility. Look, I'll feed him every morning when I make your breakfast. Then I'll clean up his box every day when I come in from work. It doesn't take long to take care of a cat."
"But I really want you to think about this, now. If you mess up, well, you know what'll happen." It was his statement, so innocent sounding, that sent a thrill through her. She knew what he meant and that he would be as good as his word. He was saying, without words, that he would spank her. They had just recently agreed that he would be more active in their home and that included using spanking to discipline her and enforce rules. Marcie had introduced the idea she had read on the internet, and after some discussion and soul-searching, Jacob had consented to try. Since that time, he had indeed spanked her when she had not met the exercise goals she had set for herself. But he hadn't yet spanked her for something that he had decided on. Would this be the first issue?
She determined in her heart that she would not give him any reason to spank her, but it was nice to know that he was thinking of it as a viable alternative for himself. She hated the way it used to be, when she annoyed him and he clammed up. The silence was rare but devastating and she would not miss it.
The cat she chose at the animal shelter the next day was a beautiful black and white male kitten, with tuxedo markings. She called him Ten, because he was 10 weeks old, and he scored a 10 in her book. Jacob said the cat had Ten fingers and wrapped Marcie around every one of them. She did love that cat and took care of him just the way she had planned, at least at first. She kept him well out of Jacob's way, and cleaned the box faithfully. But then, of course, she got busy, and let a day slip by without cleaning.
The first time it happened, she confessed in an offhand manner to him the next day, when she realized what she had done. It was no big deal to her, but she wanted to be honest, so she mentioned it, saying, "Oh, and by the way, I just wanted to tell you I forgot to clean Ten's box yesterday, but I did it first thing this morning, and I won't forget again. Now, speaking of this morning, I noticed that..."
But he cut her off mid-sentence. "What was that?" he asked her.
"I said that I forgot the cat box. It was only one day," she replied and drew breath to continue, but stopped when she saw the look on his face.
"Look, you know I didn't want that cat. I don't mind him, because he means so much to you, but you promised me you'd clean every day. What happened to that promise, huh?"
She was still surprised he was making such a big deal out of this, but she was a bit ashamed now, when he put it like that. Breaking a promise was not a thing to be taken lightly, and it did seem to her now that Jacob was taking that promise very seriously, even if the cat box was not a serious issue itself. So she hung her head a moment, then looked him in the face and said with sincerity, "You're right, Jacob, and I'm sorry. I'll do better and make it a priority. I did promise and I'll keep that promise. OK?"
"Yeah, it'll be okay later tonight, little gal," he replied and gave her a look that she had not seen before. He cocked one eyebrow and and lowered his head so that he looked at her with both "Do you understand?" and "I mean business," in his gaze.
She stood there, confused and yet thrilled. He was taking this seriously and though she did not see the importance of the misstep she had made, she could tell it was important to him. She also could see that he did intend to spank her.
That night, he came by the computer where she was working and stated, "It's time for you close that down and get ready."
She had no need to ask what she was to ready herself for, but she was in some doubt as to what he wanted her to do. She decided that she would get her sleep shirt on as if she was just going to bed, but not get into bed. As she was brushing her teeth, he came in and sat on the bed with a determined look on his face.
And as she finished up and walked into the room, she could not help the small smile that came to her lips. This was just a bit absurd to her and she was having a hard time taking it very seriously. He saw the smile and commented, "I guess we have some talking to do before I get started, huh?"
She was happy he was giving her a chance to explain. "I just can't believe you're making such a big deal out of this, Jacob. I'm not laughing at you. I just...well....it's just a cat box."
"But you said yourself when you were explaining this whole DD thing to me, Babe, remember. I told you that you didn't do anything that bad that I needed to spank you, and you said that it didn't have to be the crime of the century. You said that what you needed is to know that I care about you and what you do. Well, I care about that darn cat box not smelling up the house, and I care about you keeping your promises. So, are you going to go back-pedaling on me now that the rubber is about to hit the road, or are you...." but his voice trailed off as she reacted to his words by approaching his right side and laying herself over his lap.
"Is this how you want me, Sir?" she asked in a quiet voice.
Gratified at how quickly his words had made an impact, he did not want her to know how relieved he was that she was going to co-operate. He began by resting his hands lightly on her back and asking her in a calm voice, "Why are you here, about to get a spanking?"
She answered quietly again, but with more understanding now, "I forgot to clean the cat box and I broke a promise."
"That's right, little gal, and for that you're going to get this spanking. I don't want to have to spank you, but we both know it's best this way. It's what you asked for, and I'm going to follow through. I'll start with 30 with the wooden spoon tonight, but if it happens again, I'll double it and we'll see where we go from there."
He picked up the wooden spoon and began administering the punishment he thought fitting. Since he'd never done anything like this before, he gave her all 30 in a row with no break. At first she gasped at the unexpected pain, then just concentrated on not moving away from the source of that pain. Instinct told her to move and move fast, to get away from that spoon. But her love and need for him and his discipline had her fighting that instinct tooth and nail. She won the fight and stayed still the whole 30 swats. She started to get up when he stopped, but he held her on his lap another moment.
"Not just yet, little lady," he instructed. "That was for not doing the job. This is going to be for breaking the promise. A promise is a very important thing, and I don't want it taken lightly in this house. If you are going to have to miss on your duty, I guess you'd better let me know beforehand. I know there may be some days where you can't get to it for some reason, but you'd best let me know about it so that it doesn't feel like you're just disregarding my wishes. Okay?"
She acknowledged her understanding with an "okay" that did not sound right to him for some reason . He decided quickly that he liked her earlier, "sir" and wanted to hear it again. "What was that?" he asked her.
"I said, okay," she answered, not understanding his implication at all.
"And I want to hear how a lady answers her husband while she's being disciplined," he warned her softly.
"Oh! Uh, I uh.....I mean, yes, sir," she fumbled for a reply that would show her respectful frame of mind.
"That's better, darlin'. Now next time," and here he began to spank again with the spoon as he spoke, "you remember to either keep your word," the spanks increasing in strength, "or let me know beforehand the reason why!" he continued, spanking harder still. "I'll be reasonable, but you've got to show that you take this seriously, all right?"
"Yes, sir," was all she could manage to grit out of her clenched teeth. She took it seriously, all right. The pain had gone from surprising to a strange numbness and then on to a fiery burn. She had never thought that a spanking would hurt so much. The other times he had spanked had been short and to the point. They had gotten her attention, but this....this was different. She felt like all she wanted in this world was to stop this pain.
Then suddenly, it did stop, and he stopped his lecture. She felt a tear or two try to well up in her eyes, but she blinked them back. She did not know how he would feel about her crying, and this was all so new that she really wanted things to go right, especially this first time. And all over a silly cat box, anyway, came one quick sneaking thought. No, it was not silly to her anymore. She looked at it as a promise broken, and as his wishes not taken seriously. The last thing she wanted to do was to make him feel disrespected or unloved. She would take the cat box, and all her other duties more seriously from now on, she thought to herself, as a way to show her love for him.
And oh, how that love for him welled up in her heart now. She felt as light as a butterfly and happier than springtime. She wanted to hug her Jacob for all she was worth, and when they had both stood up, that is exactly what she did.
"Oh, Jacob," she started, "why do I feel this incredible right now? What did you do to me?"
"I just did what you wanted is all, " he replied, a bit mystified, but glad all the same of her unexpected reaction. "I just showed you how much I care for you and our relationship," he was quoting other folks he had read now, and he knew it, but it seemed to be going over okay with her, so he just went on holding her and stroking her back.
"How 'bout lets go to bed?" Marci asked with a bit of shyness, but even more eagerness in her voice. She was anxious to show Jacob all that was in her heart.